Lauraine Snelling in her new book, “Wake The Dawn” published by FaithWords brings us into the lives of Ben James and Esther Hanson.
From the back cover: In the remote town of Pineville, Minnesota, folks associate U.S. Border Patrol agent Ben James with his days of high school football glory–not with the shell-of-himself the young widower has become. Since an accident claimed the life of his wife two years earlier, Ben has been seeking comfort in the bottle but never on duty. When Ben’s canine partner Bo finds an infant lying under a bush near the Canadian border just as a hurricane force storm hits, Ben must rush the child safely to town.
The only medical facility in Pineville is a small outpatient clinic run by Physician’s Assistant Esther Hanson. As the storm rages, Esther struggles to hide symptoms of her secret emotional battle from the caring members of the community–including Ben, and the town’s volunteer EMT’s who work to assist her until the last critical patient is airlifted to the regional hospital. As the weather finally clears and the town begins to deal with the horrendous devastation, Esther and Ben must find the courage to wake the dawn and live in the light of day.
A hurricane force storm, an abandoned baby, an overextended outpatient clinic and two individuals with issues that are overwhelming them! This is the recipe that Lauraine Snelling has created for us in “Wake The Dawn”. The late Producer/Director Irwin Allen used to give us movies with plots like this and if he was around today I am sure he would be turning this book into one of his films. Ben James is still devastated by the death of his wife and is slowly sinking into the bottle. Esther Hansen isn’t even a doctor but the demands placed on her are the equivalent and are costing her a great deal emotionally. These two must work out their past issues in order to deal with the present and embrace the future. Danger, action and adventure are all rolled up in a very exciting read. On top of all of this there is the romance. These are wonderful characters that live and breathe on the pages and you care deeply for them. This book does not disappoint at all. I enjoyed it and I am sure you will also.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from FaithWords. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
People deal with grief in different ways. In this novel, Ben lost his pregnant wife in a one car automobile accident two years ago. He turned his back on God and sought relief in the bottle. Esther had a traumatic automobile accident when a teen that she hid from her parents. Afterwards dreams and flashbacks turned into PTSD.
As the novel opens, there is an intense storm hitting the northern border town of Pineville. Ben is a border patrol agent and in the midst of the storm his dog finds an abandoned baby. Ben takes her in to the town clinic where Esther is the PA and the only source of medical aid. The clinic is full of people hurt in the storm. Ben, with his EMT training, stays to help. They save lives but lose others. Esther saves the baby's life and Ben is committed to taking care of her. Only if Ben stays away from the bottle, Esther declares.
Such is the action packed beginning of a story of struggle against the demons of the past. Ben sees the marks of PTSD in Esther but she will not let him help her. And Ben knows he needs to get his own life straightened out before he could help anyone else anyway. His commitment to the rescued baby may be the key.
Supporting these two well developed major characters are a whole host of quirky townspeople. They are so indicative of rural America. When needed, they rally around to help their community make it through the storm.
This is a good story of two flawed people who are trying to find their way to wholeness. Their faith in God plays a prominent role in their lives, Ben because he is so mad at God and Esther because she needs Him so desperately.
I do question the action with the rescued baby. That action and how it ultimately works out just did not seem realistic to me. Other than that, a fine novel.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
This is one novel that did not live up to my expectations. I expected there to be more action, maybe more focus on looking for the abandoned baby's mother, more mystery surrounding that or something. It just wasn't what I was expecting.
It's basically an account of a small town getting hit by two big storms in short order and how their doctor (who is actually a doctor's assistant) at their under staffed and under supplied clinic gets through it. There's a lot of detail about the different cases, oh and in the middle of it somewhere two badly damaged (emotionally) people fall in love.
Personally I didn't find it overly exciting or interesting. There's a lot of medical detail, but the story doesn't really go anywhere, and a lot of big personal problems are glossed over in the end.
I received this book from Netgalley and Faith Words in exchange for an honest review. My opinion is my own.